Until college I never saw math as something to be wondered about, questioned, and a thing of beauty. That changed in college as I need to finish blogging about, but continued my first year teaching at CVC Middle School.
A great old-school list of the pi day memorization records is here: https://sites.google.com/site/dormancomputech/home/pi-day-records
Basically I wanted my students to get excited about PI day and understand that the formula they all knew for area and circumference of a circle could actually be used in ‘reverse’ to figure out Pi. This is a great concept for students to see and then be able to extend in more higher-level mathematical equations. In middle school being able to rearrange an equation to solve for another variable then the one ‘listed’ is a great skill. A classic example given is often the Distance= Rate (Time) formula. Often a word problem will give the distance but not the rate, and students have to figure out that Time is equal to Distance divided by Rate. The fact that Pi is irrational also lends itself to great discussions as to ‘why’ and eventually to the point that a circle itself is an ‘infinitely sided’ polygon using an activity like this the one embedded.
We had a lot of fun over the years and I’m excited to get messages from former students and colleagues/friends on Pi Day every year! If it helps someone who hated math at least smile about math then my job is complete! It started at CVC Middle School, was big within my class at McLane since I was at TPA, and then got really ‘big’ at Computech!
Top Pi Day Moments:
- Rodrigo hitting 224 digits of Pi memorized after getting 187 the year before.
- Going to Doghouse Grill with the winners every year since about 2008.
- When kids would make me Pi gifts and how I was known to sneak into teacher-friends’ classrooms and ‘tag’ Pi on their whiteboards!